2023 BMW 760i XDrive First Drive Review
|Engine:||4.4L V8 Turbo with mild hybrid|
|Output:||536 hp, 553 lb-ft|
|Fuel Economy (MPG):||TBD|
|Fuel Economy (L/100 KM):||TBD|
|Starting Price (USD):||$114,595 (inc. dest.)|
|Starting Price (CAD):||TBD (inc. dest.)|
The 7 Series has been BMW’s flagship since 1977.
It’s the place where the brand’s focus on driving enjoyment has to battle with the needs of an executive express to give drivers and rear-seat owners massive amounts of luxury. With this latest model, the company’s designers and engineers had the added challenge of adding the first electric version of the car. They’ve done a heck of a job.
New Car, New Face
It’s hard to miss the face of the 2023 BMW 7 Series. The split headlights (the top section is actually a Swarovsky crystal-accented DRL) are the new face of what BMW calls its luxury models, so love them or not, you should probably get used to them. If you don’t like them, at least the luxury models are only this and the refreshed X7.Get a Quote on a New BMW 760i xDrive
BMW has grown this new 7. The old long and short wheelbase distinctions are gone, the only version now offers a wheelbase 0.2 inches (5 mm) longer than the old L model. Overall length is up too, adding more room for cargo (now 19 cubic feet / 540 liters) but more importantly adding space for rear passengers. An additional 2.6-inches (65-millimeters) of height means those passengers now have more headroom, even with the new 31-inch cinema screen. The last-generation 7 Series was sorely lacking in that dimension.
Goodbye V12, But Not the Power
Sadly, the V12 is gone for this generation, but BMW has beefed up the V8 a bit. The 4.4-liter twin-turbo engine makes 536 hp and 553 pound of torque, just a 13 horsepower increase from last year, but it does have a little something extra.
Bolted to the back of the strong and smooth V8 is a new eight-speed automatic transmission. Inside the ‘box’s case is a 48-volt mild hybrid system that adds 12 hp to the total and a not-insignificant 147 lb-ft of torque. This little motor allows BMW to be more aggressive with its use of start-stop to save fuel. The benefit is that the torque is on offer from zero rpm, so it gives the 760i more of a shove off the line. Even when the engine turns off for a traffic light.
The engine delivers loads of power, even when faced with a 5,000-pound (2,300 kilogram) sedan and 6,000-foot altitudes in the mountains around Palm Springs, California. The wooly V8 sounds make themselves heard only when you’re asking for max power, the rest of the time the engine stays quiet. American buyers will get a rear-drive 740i model with a 375 hp 3.0-liter mild hybrid inline-six; Canadians won’t.SEE ALSO: 2023 BMW i7 First Drive Review
Adapt and Concur
Adaptive air suspension is standard, backed by electronically controlled dampers. The system can self-level the car using a new faster and quieter air compressor, and it has a tremendous impact on making ride quality a highlight of this car.
The highways around Palm Springs are a noise and vibration nightmare. Grooved and cracked concrete and asphalt make conversation difficult in lesser cars. The sound of the impact of these large perpendicular pavement cracks—better described as canyons—is the only thing you’ll hear in the 2023 760i xDrive. The sounds of lesser road imperfections and the impacts they’re sending into the suspension are gone, blocked by the Bavarian engineering.
Hit anything shorter than a curb at highway speeds and this big BMW simply shrugs it off. Laminated glass and more sound insulation than a recording studio cut outside noise to an afterthought. From behind the wheel it’s serene, but sitting in the back of this 2023 BMW 760i xDrive is like an isolation chamber cutting you off from the endless barrage of the outside world. It’s lovely.
Livelier Than It Ought To Be
That covers the comfort side of the ride, but BMW hasn’t ignored the drive. This might be the best-driving 7 Series in generations thanks to a new variable-ratio steering system, rear-wheel steering, and active roll stabilization.
A 48-volt electrical system lets BMW use more powerful motors to run the active roll control system and it responds quickly to keep the body completely flat. While the 2023 BMW 760i xDrive isn’t as agile as an M3 in the mountains, the high-tech wizardry makes it feel more like a 550i. Road-reading cameras, nav-system data, and an analysis of your driving style are all part of what the car’s computers process to work to tweak the dampers to make this as sporting of a drive as possible.SEE ALSO: BMW XM Hands-On Preview: 5 Reasons it’s BMW’s New Flagship Model
Roll bars decoupled on the highway, the only signs of pavement craters are the gentle thwack made by the tie. In the mountains, the only sign you’re reaching the limits of the BMW’s significant grip is when the tires start to squeal.
Wider seats make the 7 Series even more comfortable. These are chairs that you sink into, not sit on, but with dozens of electric adjustments the seats can keep you firmly in place, too. BMW moved the seat controls to the doors, though many of the more elaborate settings (like the thigh supports) are buried in menus in the center screen.
Rear seat passengers get equally comfortable chairs, with the benefit of being able to hide behind blinds on all of the rear glass. If you’re in the back you can enjoy the same heat, ventilation, and massage as the driver. You can also add a right rear seat that will recline significantly to give the passenger a well-deserved nap on long trips. I took one of those naps, though it was in the parking lot and not on the road.
BMW has many choices of extremely soft Merino leather for the 7, but our favourite was the new leather and cashmere wool combination. Any car can have leather, after all, even an economy car. But wool? That’s something special, and it feels exquisite.
One change that felt a bit of a miss was the new air vents. They’re hidden behind a trim strip instead of being exposed. The temperatures were in the low 80s in Palm Springs and the very diffused cool air didn’t seem to be able to keep us cool inside without very high (and so slightly noisier) fan speeds.
Technological Tour de Force
The 2023 BMW 7 Series is a technological tour de force, starting with iDrive version 8. The latest generation of the system is controlled through a 14.9-inch screen that replaces nearly all of the usual physical buttons. This could be a big problem, except that BMW made this system operate with the agility of an M4 CSL. Do you have to touch the climate mode button to adjust anything more than the temperature? Yes. Does the full menu appear on the screen before you’ve taken your finger off of that button? Also yes.
That’s if you bother to use the screen. The natural speech voice recognition is also exceptionally well done and simple to use. It can control nearly any feature of the car, even changing the drive modes or closing the blinds. All you need to do is ask.
Screens on the doors let the rear passengers control their climate and audio settings, or they can use voice commands too. Yes, the system can tell exactly who is asking for warmer or cooler air and adjust accordingly. The door screens also control that optional 8k 31-inch giant rear TV that folds into the roof and can stream Amazon FireTV, YouTube, and the rest of the big services.SEE ALSO: 2022 BMW i4 Review: 4 Series 4 The Future
Nearly Drives Itself
Driving assistants include emergency braking and other collision avoidance features, as you’d expect in nearly any new car by now, but BMW has gone well above and beyond. Maneuver Assist, for example, can record up to about 650 feet (200 meters) of your driving and then replicate it (or reverse it) from the same spot. So it can steer itself around your cramped parking garage, even if you’re not inside the car. You can also use the parking system to put your 7 into and out of any parallel or perpendicular space while standing outside the car.
Then there’s the Highway Assistant, part of an advanced driver assist package. This is BMW’s hands-off driving system, able to steer the car on sections of major highways. It’s still an eerie thing to sit behind the wheel without touching it, and the system seemed to have trouble with my sunglasses and with certain pavement marking situations, but it worked well. It can also change lanes for you with the tap of the signal.
2023 BMW 760i xDrive: The Verdict
BMW has created an automotive sanctuary with the new 2023 BMW 760i xDrive, one that can hustle up a mountain road faster than any living room. The amount of tech stuffed into this car is equally impressive. Not everyone will be happy without physical buttons for some key features, though. And the power-operating doors can be frustrating if you’re not patient with them. But if you want quick, quiet, and comfortable, this car is a hard one to beat.
Is there a new BMW 7 Series coming out?
Yes, as the article shows, a new BMW 7 Series will arrive next year.
Did BMW stop making 750 Li?
Yes, for 2023 there will only be one length of BMW 7 Series. It will be available as the 740i, 760i xDrive, and the i7.
How fast is a BMW 760i?
The new 2023 BMW 760i xDrive is able to go from o to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds. Top speed is 155 mph.
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- New mild hybrid system
- Comfort and luxury
- Slow opening/closing doors
- Hidden dashboard vents
Evan moved from engineering to automotive journalism 10 years ago (it turns out cars are more interesting than fibreglass pipes), but has been following the auto industry for his entire life. Evan is an award-winning automotive writer and photographer and is the current President of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada. You'll find him behind his keyboard, behind the wheel, or complaining that tiny sports cars are too small for his XXXL frame.
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